Sunday, January 20, 2008

First Thoughts on The Diving Bell and The Butterfly

Critical raves and awards, 2 Golden Globe wins, many guild nominations, and various top 10 lists, and all I can think is how do you make a two hour motion picture about a man who can't move any bone or muscle in his body except for one eye lid.

Ever since I first wrote about Jean-Dominique Bauby and the movie The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, I've been will they make this movie? What will it be like? How can this be good?

I got a chance to finally see the Diving Bell and the Butterfly this weekend, and I did think it was excellent. Julian Schnabel (Before Night Falls) does an excellent job directing this very unique project, and I fully anticipate a best director Oscar nod later this week.

The project is certainly on the artistic side, so the best picture nod seems less likely to me, although I've seen plenty of people predict it's nomination.

The story is fantastic and has the unique magic that only a real story can have...yet screenwriter Ronald Harwood (Oscar winner, The Pianist) writes this in such a stimulating and artful way. It has you asking "What does it mean to live?" On top of all the profoundness of It's A Wonderful Life, except instead of George Bailey seeing his life dead, you see Bauby seeing the people in his life respond to his paralysis, and yet with no practical way to respond and interact with them.

Also Janusz Kaminski's cinematography is incredible, I'm sure this project is a dream project for him to add to impressive filming of Saving Private Ryan & Schindler's List.

I imagine this film will be far more engaging on a big screen than a little one, so if you're interested and not to scared of artful foreign cinema with flashbacks and dream sequences, I highly encourage seeking out a viewing when and where it's available.


Jamie Dawn said...

I'll have to ask my daughter if she's heard of this film.
She is studying filmmaking, so she knows more about what's out there than I do.

Barry said...

This film is in my Oscar nominations, which are now posted.

Yih said...

incredible movie! by the way, congrats on the new site address. one of the few movies this year (includes no country) that you sit in silence during the end credits out of amazement for an artistic achievement

Out Of Jersey said...

I just picked the book up this weekend. I am really looking forward to reading it.

Sher said...

So...did you go see 27 Dresses this weekend? I bet you couldn't wait to see it! Ha ha! JK! I'm sure that was one of your "vomit enducting" movies of the year.

See ya this weekend!

Anonymous said...

I thought this movies was great too. I also read a good review of it that you can read to get a different point of view

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

I loved this film. I totally agree with you that it really benefits from being seen on the big screen. Very powerful.